What is the most amount of money that you would spend on a surprise Christmas gift for your spouse?

By Stew

“Let’s be honest, no one ever wished for a smaller holiday gift.” Wait, what?!

For the past decade – actually dating back to 1998 – the luxury car brand Lexus has marketed its Christmas sales event called “December to Remember”. Most of us have seen the ads where a wife or husband is led out the front door and confronted with an brand spankin’ new luxury car with a huge bright red bow in the driveway or parked by the curb. I remember scoffing the first time that I ever saw one of the ads and saying to my wife, “Don’t you ever . . . ” and “Does anyone really surprise their spouse with a $40,000 car for Christmas?!” Unbelievably, at least to me, the answer is “yes”! Since the ad campaign started, Lexus’ best sales month has been December. In this New York Times article from 2005, a manager of a car dealership in Michigan stated that every year they have several requests for delivery on December 24th every year. Every Lexus dealerships keep multiple, large, bright red bows on hand . . .

In 2010, I still see the ads and I still shake my head. I just cannot fathom buying a car without telling my wife. Even if I had the kind of cash that might take to purchase a Lexus outright, I would still have to consult her color preference, much more important, discussing all of the relevant issues related to an automobile purchase: do we need it? where are we going to park it? who will use drive it the majority of the time? etc. That is just if I paid cash for the vehicle. I know that if I were to ever surprise Mrs. Stew with a financed luxury sedan, I would be driving that thing back to the lot and begging the sales manager to take it back.

I actually know one husband who financed the surprise purchase of a car for his wife and I know that they were at a similar socio-economic level as Mrs. Stew and I. I do not know how that story turned out, but I was trying to think of the most expensive gift that I have ever purchased for Mrs. Stew without at least some input. I know that I surprised her with an engagement ring some years back that cost a good amount of money, but we had looked at rings together, so even though she was surprised when I “popped the question”, I had a pretty good idea of her tastes. Besides, and engagement ring is a pretty standard and traditional purchase. Since that time, my limit is probably around $100.

I know that we are relatively poor when compared with the average, middle-class family, but how many of you would ever consider purchasing a car without your spouses knowledge? If a car is too big, what is your limit?

– Article by Stew

Photo by Hey Paul

I have lagged in posting regularity over the past couple of months and I appreciate all of you who missed me and took the time to inquire. My health and the health of my family is fine, we are doing well, I simply went through a busy time at my “real” job and posting suffered. I plan to write here regularly and at Money Crashers for the foreseeable future. It is good to be back and it was nice to be missed by at least a few Gather Little by Little readers.

6 Responses (including trackbacks) to “What is the most amount of money that you would spend on a surprise Christmas gift for your spouse?”

  1. Sheila Says:

    Good to have you back! I agree, I would be so angry if my husband made any sort of huge purchase like a car without discussing it with me.

  2. Randy Says:

    Probably in the $100 range. I think I spent that much on my wife a few years ago. Some kind of jewelry..

  3. Stew Says:

    Thanks, Sheila!

    Randy, spoke like a true man. I’m pretty certain that your wife would remember the exact piece. ha!

  4. Angie Jacobs Says:

    I bought a car once because my ex made me mad, you noticed I said ex. It was not my smartest move, but neither was marrying him. lol

  5. Guide at GrowingMoneyStart.com Says:

    I cringe at those Lexus commercials too! The most expensive gift that I got wife was her engagement ring too (it was less that $2,000 though).

    Perhaps someday… someday :(

  6. Maggie Wolfe Says:

    I heard of a man who traded in his girlfriend’s four-door practical car (it was paid off) for a convertible, for her Christmas present. She wasn’t thrilled, as she didn’t like convertibles, but tried to be gracious. She was less gracious when, after the holidays, she found out that the monthly payments on the new car were HER responsibility — the boyfriend hadn’t paid for anything!